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Discourse analysis, Metaphor -- Research, Metaphor in literature


Are metaphorical words and phrases merely clever use (or abuse) of language, or do they tell us something important about human thought and communication? Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), initially proposed by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in 1980, claims that commonplace metaphorical expressions like “rising prices” and “a warm relationship” reflect deep conceptual relationships (e.g. MORE IS UP and AFFECTION IS TEMPERATURE) that shape almost all of human cognition. CMT is supported by the “embodiment hypothesis,” the proposal that ordinary language use and comprehension involves areas of the brain primarily concerned with perception and muscle control (e.g. Barsalou, 1998). These ideas challenge core assumptions of traditional theories about both language and mind, and they have drawn intense criticism.


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in PsycCRITIQUES. ©American Psychological Association, 2017. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal.

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